crankyoldman: Running up that hill [Final Fantasy VIII] (rinoa wings)
So I went out of town this weekend and visited my sister, who had just moved into her new place the weekend before. This is her first time living on her own (at age 22... she's a bit later than me with my first living alone experience at 19) and I wanted to make sure she had at least one visitor in the middle of her two weeks waiting for school to start.

She got into grad school at the place where I did undergrad, so there were a lot of places I went around and showed her, and tips to be given. It's the only place I've ever felt homesick for, not because it was a time of happiness and rainbows (there were good times, but if you know me at all, I had a really rough time getting through engineering) but because it was the first place where I lived my very own life. Which is a powerful thing, I think.

It kind of felt like I was passing it on to her. Even if there's a graduate program there I'm trying to get into, I think this was a really good weekend for me too, for me to be able to say goodbye for realz. Now that I'm living on my own again and starting a variation on My Very Own Life, and maybe I'll start going to things more.

It doesn't hurt that I finally decided there was absolutely no way I was going to get to take a class here this semester. I'm going to lean on the five billion more things I've done with my company in my next application and not try to do everything at once. I'm being smarter and applying for a graduate program here as well as the university I really want to get into. Sure, it'll be a master's program only partly related to what I want to do, but it'll be some forward momentum at least. I don't idle well.

Next semester, we'll see.

There was also a goodwill trip, because my sister wanted some cups and plates, so I went along and ended up with several cute tops and a set of four glasses that look rather a lot like what you would see in Don Draper's bar on Mad Men (they're called roly poly glasses, which the internet just taught me). Really. I think I need to learn to actually make some cocktails.

And now some sewing talk.

current and future projects )
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (WYN)
Finally got this. I wanted to make a video to explain some of this, it ended up being two youtube videos because I babble.

Also important: if you want to store a pattern for later, don't stuff it back in the envelope! Put it in a plastic zip bag. The "gallon" (or whatever the metric equivalent is) size works well for containing most patterns. This helps to keep water off the paper and means that it won't get all scrunched up.

Some people prefer to take their patterns (particularly if they are dealing with OLD patterns) and trace them onto paper and not cut them out. This is up to you! Just because one person did it that way doesn't mean actually cutting them out is wrong. Or vice versa.

More info:

- Grainlines

- Better images for pattern symbols

- More definitions

- More explanations for things I didn't go over

crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Lady)
Hey I'm back, was just doing things out of town and away from my computer and being a little emo shoopuff. Which was fun, actually. XD So time to continue this. I know I'm focusing a lot on materials, but materials are really really important if you don't want to be frustrated. Technique comes with practice, but if you're hindering by materials, well. You're not going to get much done.

I happen to be a big proponent for getting used or vintage supplies and tools. Some people will disagree with me on this and insist that you always have to buy new for everything. Some things used in sewing are better off new (scissors for instance) but if you're thoughtful there's really no reason you have to buy new for everything.

The key is being thoughtful.

how to shop for used or vintage sewing materials )

how to shop for new things, but cheaply )

Next time: Patterns, What Do They Mean?
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (yuna stars)
So I live in Indiana. There are two fabric stores in my area: a Joann Fabrics, and a tiny independent quilting place. No fabulous places full of the costume fabrics like when I visited Phoenix, or bolts as far as the eye can see in a place like Mood. The majority of the people in my area sew for church quilts and things like that.

Nothing wrong with that, but when you're as theatrical as I am, you find it limiting. Or an interesting challenge.

So I'm going to go into where I get fabrics, several of the types of fabrics I think are good for different types of projects, and why you should say no to polyester.

fabric types )

places online to find fabrics )

I wanted to babble about more types of fabrics, but I need to get driving soon! Tomorrow's post will be odd due to my being out of town. Just so you know.

Oh and I'm crossposting to [community profile] sewing, so there's additional comments being added. Check out the first post here if you want to see some more tips that I forgot or didn't know myself!
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (little girls stray)
So I actually made a video for this post! I might make videos for some of the others, as things that I describe are sometimes easier to show that way. I think I may do a small project to demo some of the things to do when approaching patterns.

And here's another video that says a lot of the same things, but is better edited and less full of inherited vintage-y things. Though I disagree with her using an X-Acto knife instead of a seam ripper (you could easily cut yourself or parts of the fabric you don't want to cut... seam rippers are much safer, imo).

Also, the first of my videogame fashion sets... Final Fantasy IV! All lady clothes, but a couple of them are tomboyish and could be translated into men's looks.

eight characters, several combinations )
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Rin smiling)
So, my first week for Three Weeks for Dreamwidth is going to be sewing, costuming, cosplay, and style related. Hell, it may even go into next week because I have a lot to babble about these subjects.

Today is all about the trials and tribulations of beginner sewing, as I know several of you are starting out with machines. Keep in mind, I am basically 99% self-taught and am constantly finding better more finished ways to do things as I go along, which people who have had some formal experience would laugh about.

But hey, at least I'm doing it, right?

I'm going to focus on women's clothing, mostly because I'm just now getting to my first men's clothing project. Not because I forget about you menfolk. I just can't say. If you want a good source of talk about men's sewing projects, I suggest Male Pattern Boldness. During his sew-alongs he goes through things step by step, and has lots of comments on both mens and womens patterns, particularly vintage.

things I wish I'd known when I started sewing )

Now for some beginner projects.

good beginner projects )

Tomorrow I'll start my "real life cosplay" sets, which will consist of clothes you can find to mimic the style of some videogame characters. I'll probably have those throughout the week, in addition to commentary I make about other aspects of sewing and clothing and fun.

Also, if anyone wants me to play stylist for them, leave me a comment. ^^
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Daisuke)
I'm thinking about fun work.

- 1/3 charity aprons done! Got word about the sizing on the one I had to actually buy fabric for, so I'm excited to finally cut into it. It's a super cute fabric.

- Sister is coming into town next week, so I can do fitting and final work on her dress. I will be sure to get pictures of her in it.

- I am underway on Breath of Fire III and it's one of the things that has kept me sane this week, I tell you. I quite adore Nina, she's got all the girliness without the constantly being in another castleness. I love black mages with sparkle wands. I would also be quite at home in Wyndia

- I own 20 d10s now.

- I'm actually working on writing, slowly.

But more importantly with writing:

SIGNUPS ARE OPEN. I signed up like as soon as they opened, but yeah! FUNTIMES.
crankyoldman: Running up that hill [Final Fantasy VIII] (rinoa wings)
There's been a lot going on lately. For me at least.

I put in an application for an apartment that I viewed on Friday. It's in a building attached to a Turkish and a Chinese restaurant as well as a bakery! Hopefully someone won't snipe me on it, but the whole "hey I have a steady job and a possibility of a raise soon and btw, I won't have a car so you don't need a parking spot for me" thing means I have a lot going for me.

And I really want this place. Biggest studio apartment I've found in my price range, excellent location (like next to the post office, the fire station, a block from the bus station, and did I mention an attached bakery?). It also has color on the walls (one red wall, one yellow wall, one brownish wall, very warm and Mediterranean).

This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of you, but immediately after graduating last December, I moved in with my parents, because I wasn't sure if I was going to grad school yet or not, or even if I wanted to stay in this town, or pursue jobs elsewhere. Well, I like my job (most of the time, like all jobs, it's not perfect), but I don't like living about 30 minutes away from said job (yeah... that's how far out I am).

And I miss being in a town. It's no wonder I'm an introvert, having grown up out here. I got so used to people being around while in college that I think that maybe it's part of why I've been so listless.

When I'm feeling listless or anxious, I make things. Or play things.

things made )

things played )
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (yorda sorceress)
It has been a good weekend for sewing all the things. I'm currently putting together my sister's dress (it has a separate top and bottom that are sewn together, which is good because her bottom half is a 12 and her top half is a 10 in pattern sizing).

Top half looks like this:

And this pattern that I have been flailing over finally was in stock for me to buy, and on sale at that.

I also got some sparkle and iridescent thread for my Princess Yue costume, actual fabric pending. There's this iridescent stuff I am debating getting for an overlayer. But I have to finish the Toph and Iroh costumes before I start on mine, because they are for other people. ^^


Feb. 28th, 2011 04:49 pm
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)
Today I managed to not only get our regional Girl Scouts interested in using our game for a pilot, but they actually want to pay for it! So I kind of made a sale. Yay.

Tomorrow I have to drive to Big City and attend an afterschool summit thingie. I heard about it yesterday, because my bossboss forgot that he was at GDC (you know, Game Developers Conference, the FUN conference) and had a registration for this and needed someone to go. I almost had to go today too, but I had said Girl Scouts reps meeting.

I'm one part excited, one part not emotionally ready for having to get up at 5 am to get my ass to the place on time. Bah for living an hour away.

This weekend I went through my closet, and only found two pieces of clothing I want to give away. XD So a short Goodwill trip. I will likely make another pass soon.

I also got started on two of my sewing projects. I started my sister's dress, which is in four pieces, as I have to cut out the lining (I was debating if it needed a lining, the top part could use one. It's such a supercute pattern, I really like how it's turning out. An in-process picture I took. The shiny side is the inside, not the outside.

The Toph costume has been cut and the top is in a partial state of construction. I'm trying to ensure that it is the right combination of drape-y and fitted, so there has been much draping on the mannequin and debating how to go. I also am doing a modified neckline, so there is much drape, look at it, fold, cut... look at it again going on. I also managed to mix up my front and back patterns (the back has a seam, because I wanted one) but thankfully I managed to figure out how to reverse that issue. XD The pants are still in pieces.

So, yeah, that's basically what's been up.
crankyoldman: Claudia's IS the tech support [Warehouse 13] (Claudia tech)
New people! Just updated my personal information post. If you feel lost about what I'm rambling about at anytime, that might help illuminate things.

So, I managed to do a meeting this morning without any visual aids, because I was running a bit late and totally forgot how to log into the meeting as a host. Virtual meetings are hard. But despite this I seem to have roped three, possibly four schools into the spring pilot of using our game. So yay more kids playing the game!

The catch is that two of the schools want to get this started in March.

Now, we didn't have as great of website set up, and half the documentation wasn't finished for the pilot in the fall, but I am still a little nervous. As IT people don't want to talk to me for some reason (really, they seem incapable of telling me what is wrong directly and assume it's the fault of the game. 9 times out of 10, it is not the game). But since I double triple emphasized that they need to come to me ASAP when they have a problem we shouldn't have a repeat of "hey, so, we can't run the game and we're supposed to use it with kids in a couple days" that happened in the fall.

Also, my interns have a big presentation coming up, they are super excited about it. All five of them have game designs, and the two new ones will start with Cendri's Crash Course in Basic Programming after their presentations. Even if they don't end up programming much, I know for a fact that at least messing programming a little before college will help them immensely if they go into the sciences and especially engineering. Yay!

NASA is still making the grant work I'm doing now a pain in the ass.

But the design for the aerospace game is coming along nicely, I can't wait to start prototyping.

sewing )

gaming )

reading, which includes links as well as books )
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)
Just wanted to show off a refashion I finished today.

pictures and details )
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)
Now that I am no longer sick, I am full of energy. Hanging out with the dudes, getting pass out sick, and then being stuck at home due to Death Storm after that means today is the first day I've been in the office physically in a week. Whoo!

Sunshine, yay. FINALLY. And Happy Lunar New Year! It feels a bit more like a new year now.

Having the energies means I am accomplishing things.

- Made the apron that I was making for Boss in like an hour. I'm getting fast at this. No pics because I feel like I'm spamming apronry. I am definitely going to make a few aprons from some of the random vintage fabric I have laying around, to sell on etsy. Because why not.

- I've deconstructed some pants that [personal profile] whitemage gave me, in order to make a vest. Wide-legged pants provide LOVELY fabric. It's a black poly with sparkly pink pinstripes, so yes. It must be a vest. I'm using this pattern. Haven't decided which fabric to use for the lining yet, but I'm sure that I'll have something in my stash that would work perfectly.

- Speaking of stash, I need to sell some extra fabric on [ profile] fabricswaps. Because I accidentally too much on a couple projects.

- I wrote stuff! A Veld/Tifa (FFVII) fic that I owed from Christmas (Wei, yours is next!) and a silly Cecil/Edward (FFIV) which involves a thong and shenanigans. There's also stuff from the FF Kissbattle, but I'm waiting until I get more drabbles together to post them. ^^

- I cleaned a lot of the things.

So yeah, let's hope this energy keeps up throughout the month!
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (yuna stars)
Alright, getting back into the swing of things. This week is going to be full of meetings with work (one of which I may be attending in a conference call while driving to Ohio, well that's what I get for letting them buy me a fancy phone I guess), so I'd better get this out of the way before those all start up!

- Nerdy character aprons! I sort of want to try making some of these myself now for characters that I like! Not that these characters aren't fabulous, of course.

- Mormon housewife blogs... the wave of the future? I've reached new levels of meta, reading a blog post about blogs.

- Clothes for boobs! As in, the larger endowed.

- How to live an extravagantly exuberant life.

- Zero gravity space kittehs.

- Biotic games

- A style strategy for 2011

- Do gamers have the most vivid dreams?

- The luxirare collection. Anytime I see people talk about making a "uniform" of clothes to wear, I cringe. Luxirare's take on dressing simply is quite artyful.

- Hong Kong fashion week. These are the kinds of fashion shows I like to see stuff from. Everything is just beautiful.

- South African musicians, and file sharing. Since everyone's talking about ebooks and the like right now.

- Paint It Black: Johnny Cash Tribute album. Speaking of downloads.

- Engineer designs his own heart implant.

- Fashion while eating. Two things I like!

an in progress shot of my surprise costume... the identity revealed! )

Oh and I made a Veld and Elfe FST for those of you that like that sort of thing.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Young Doc)
Since I've not been doing much WORK work lately, I've been getting on some things.

pictures below! )

Also writing some stuff. Yay fun.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (little girls stray)
Since I'm going through lists of things to make.

first, have a finished apron )

Got two more aprons to make in the immediate future, one for someone who asked, and one for a SURPRISE RECIPIENT.

And here's my costume lineup as of an AWESOME EMAIL yesterday:


Ohayocon (January)

- Surprise Sparkle Costume

- Daryl (FFVI), re-wearing it for a photoshoot so there is awesomeness.

- Ward (FFVIII), if I feel like it. Dependent on if I find cheap overalls or not.

Acen (May)

- Elizabeth (Persona 3). I love her outfit, and it will be fun to sew.

- Juliet (RomeoxJuliet)... maybe. This look in particular, I like.

- Probably going to re-wear Daryl again, because I LOVE THAT COSTUME.

Otakon (July/August)

- Moon!Yue (Avatar: The Last Airbender). We're getting together a whole A:TLA group, and I was originally going to do Azula, but Sev is more appropriate for this group. Plus this look is airy enough for a summer con.

- Toph (Avatar: The Last Airbender) for [ profile] drakonlily. Aged up version of her, first FULL costume I'm sewing for someone else. Very excited.

- Iroh (Avatar: The Last Airbender) for [ profile] yi_sen. Um YES. TEAHOUSE VERSION TOO. With help from Sev.

- Ahriman, or THE FLYING EYEBALL (Final Fantasy Series). For the epic MONSTER GROUP.


Ohayocon (January)

- Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

Otakon (July/August)

- The epic Cecil Dark-Knight-Fading-Into-Paladin costume.

I need to get cracking!
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (reika.sing)
Despite being a heathen and all, it's probably my second favorite holiday (first being Halloween). Even when I was a practicing Catholic it was always less taxing than Christmas and I just really like spring. I still unconsciously buy an easter dress every couple years or so (this one I bought during winter break because buying off season means shit's cheap as hell. wearing it to a wedding I'm going to in May). Parents came up to visit, we had brunch at the diner in the area, no where fancy. Mom brought the nutroll (with sekrit family recipe!) and bunny bread (bread twisted to look like an abstract bunny. it's delicious and adorable).

And I even found The Ten Commandments on google video. WIN. Yes, I know it's silly and Old Testament, but it's my Easter Movie since I was like, seven.

Since I had a camera checked out over the weekend (which is always fun!) I took a lot of pictures of things. I made two picspams in [profile] we_r_nerdpunk: cool stuff I don't own nor took the pics of and cool stuff I took pics of.

But there's more! Oh man, I can't wait until I get a camera of my own again.

oh how I adore spring days )

And I finally took some pictures of things I've altered! YEAH. Though the before and after pics on the one shirt you can't tell much from. XD BUT I TRIED. The dress however, it rockin'.

I turn hand me downs into what I like )

Edit: ZOMG A GARTER BELT TUTORIAL I have a thing for thigh socks, but they need a garter. I may have to play with this. I AM SO CREATIVELY STIR-CRAZY RIGHT NOW.
crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (rinoa badass)
I have my greyhound tickets, my registration, and I'm almost there on costumes! And today I had no class and am doing fine enough on homework and yeah.

with MSpaint drawings )


crankyoldman: "Hermann, you don't have to salute, man." [Pacific Rim] (Default)

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